There’s an old saying that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. However, if a business can guide its teams to find solutions, making it through the tough times (and learning from them) is more likely to lead to success than collapse.
So, what makes your team fail? Here are three key reasons for teams to breakdown and a few strategies on how to combat them:
1. Lack of a Single Purpose and Unclear Roles
A team simply can’t thrive in an environment of contention, frustration, selfishness, and uncertainty. The team will sustain only if cooperation, teamwork, and true leadership become the team’s true values once again.
Let’s face it: Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant never hit it off. After the LA Lakers won three straight NBA championships from 2000–2002, these two uncompromising, Type-A players were paired up—and the team was never the same.
Productive teams have clear role definitions and regular discussion regarding who's responsible for what and ensuring that there are not any large overlaps or gaps between everyone on the team. By giving them each their own responsibility, but making all of them accountable to the ultimate result, there’s a lot of room for cooperation, but not much for any one person to fall short.
2. Repairing Trust Issues and Fostering Open Communication
Trust and poor communication are the two most pressing challenges of our age.
Trust doesn’t happen overnight, but there is a springboard one can use: Employers who behave as though the trust has already been established by signalling confidence in all members serve to encourage early onset trust.
When it comes to communication, there’s a whole lot of assumptions going on. One of the most common assumptions is that everyone on the team is on the same page. Teams who aren’t performing well are almost always labouring under a “silo effect”. Encouraging open dialogue and communication can address this, but it must be made clear from inception that team members need to check in with each other regularly. While this is more difficult to do remotely, there are plenty of strategies to facilitate the same discipline online.
3. Learning from Mistakes
There are numerous ways businesses that failed to thrive could be turned around well before tragedy struck. After all, hardships are not unique among businesses. All they really needed to do was learn from the mistakes of others. But they didn’t.
Similarly, for teams to truly excel, executive-level leadership needs to foster a climate of high-performance teamwork, lead groups to solutions, and lead from a united, forward-thinking, and morally sound place. This way it is possible for them to move quickly because the right people have been included in the right way.
With the above strategies at the forefront, leaders, teams, and companies will thrive. Just like Moria Alexander says “Strong and cohesive teams thrive when leaders highlight how much they all have in common, not how much he or she stands above from the crowd.”